Belt homers again as Giants stay hot, beat Dodgers 2-1
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Giants left-hander Ty Blach finally got his first win of the season and was quick to spread the credit around.
There was the defense, particularly rookie Christian Arroyo, who made a pair of stellar plays in his first start at second base. A timely home run by Brandon Belt and an even more clutch tiebreaking hit from Brandon Crawford helped, too.
Most importantly, Blach pointed to catcher Buster Posey’s game plan, which worked out nicely in stretching San Francisco’s winning streak to five.
“Buster does a great job behind the plate against these guys,” Blach said after the Giants’ 2-1 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday. “He knows these hitters so well, so just being able to know that you’ve got confidence in him, that makes it a lot easier for you.”
Blach (1-2) pitched seven innings, spoiling Dodgers starter Rich Hill’s return from the disabled list. Blach allowed one run, five hits and two walks with four strikeouts.
“He’s one of those guys that’s unflappable, he just keeps coming at you,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. “He was on top of his game. He’s just a good pitcher that knows what he’s doing and he’s got a little more stuff than he gets credit for.”
Belt homered for the fourth time in six games and scored the deciding run on Crawford’s single in the sixth, while Posey added two hits.
San Francisco improved to 5-1 on its homestand after a sluggish nine-game road trip when Bochy’s ballclub won only three games.
“We’ve been playing really good team ball right now,” Blach said. “It’s fun to be able to keep that going.”
Belt, who hit his eighth home run of the season leading off the fourth, singled against the shift to open the sixth. After Belt advanced on a wild pitch, Crawford followed with a single off Luis Avilan (0-1) to short right-center to give the Giants a 2-1 lead.
Hunter Strickland retired three batters and Derek Law pitched the ninth for his fourth save.
Chris Taylor hit his fourth home run of the season for Los Angeles.
Activated off the disabled list before the game after missing more than four weeks due to a blister on his finger, Hill got off to a shaky start in his first appearance since April 16.
The lefty hit leadoff man Denard Span in the batting helmet with a 73 mph curve on his fifth pitch of the first inning, then was called for a balk moments later. Hill settled down to get through five innings while allowing one run and six hits with six strikeouts.
“He pitched himself out of some traffic,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “To give us 80-plus pitches, give us five innings, give up one run ... I thought that was a success.”
BLACH-OUT THE DODGERS
Blach has been dominant in four career appearances against the Dodgers, giving up just three runs in 23 innings — a 1.17 ERA. Blach has a 4.71 ERA against everyone else. “There’s certain teams where certain styles work better,” Blach said.
Arroyo has played primarily at third base since being called up from the minors on April 24 but made his first start at second base Tuesday and looked good there. Arroyo threw out Justin Turner at home in the fourth inning, then made a diving stop on Joc Pederson’s grounder in the seventh and threw to first for the out.
Dodgers: LHP Grant Dayton was optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma to make room for Hill.
Giants: Span was checked by head athletic trainer Dave Groeschner and remained in the game. ... Closer Mark Melancon is expected to come off the disabled list Friday when San Francisco opens a three-game series in St. Louis. Melancon did some light throwing before Tuesday’s game after a 22-pitch bullpen a day earlier. ... 2B Joe Panik was not in the starting lineup.
Left-hander Clayton Kershaw (6-2), who has a career 1.66 ERA in 38 appearances against San Francisco, starts for the Dodgers in the afternoon finale on Wednesday while the Giants counter with right-hander Johnny Cueto (4-2). Cueto outdueled Kershaw and got the win when the two teams played May 1.
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